F1 FANTASY: Will Buxton picks his team for the first races of the new season
With the start of the delayed Formula 1 season now just around the corner, we asked F1 broadcaster and journalist Will Buxton what his F1 Fantasy picks would be for the first races of the year – and he replied: “I’m going to preface this by saying that I am terrible at Fantasy sports leagues, F1, soccer, or whatever else. I’m shocking.” So, are his picks any good? Let's find out…
First choice: Max Verstappen ($26.1m)
Despite my poor record in all things fantasy, I think I’ve got a pretty solid line-up here with the $100m budget given. With the opening three races expected to play towards Red Bull, Max Verstappen was a natural first choice.
Thanks to the way points are allocated, he’d be high on the list of first picks anyway given the likelihood of decent qualifying, race finish, and that he’s rarely beaten by his team mate.
For the price, he also allows you the scope to build a solid team around him that the likes of a Hamilton might not.
Turbo Driver and constructor: Sergio Perez ($9.3m) and Racing Point ($10.1m)
So where to next? Logic dictates Sergio Perez. At under $10m he’s a steal and with the prospect of the Racing Point being ultra-competitive at the start of the season, not only have I leapt at the chance of putting him in the team but he’s my choice of Turbo for the opening round.
He’s a popular pick, in fact the most popular in the entire grid, featuring in more than half of the teams submitted so far!
Given their potential competitiveness, I’ve plumped for Racing Point as my constructor, too. If they go as well as expected in the early races there’s every chance their stock could rise, leaving more money in the pot should the need come to switch later in the season.
Best of the rest
All of which leaves us with a healthy sum for the remaining drivers.
Daniel Ricciardo ($14.1m) makes a lot of sense for many of the same reasons as Verstappen. As one of the best overtakers in the field, there’s also the chance of some points for positions gained, especially as the long run pace of the Renault looked tasty in testing.
I’ve then gone for Carlos Sainz ($15.5m). While Norris just edged him in qualifying in 2019, Sainz rarely finished behind his team mate. He should be a decent scorer.
Final pick: Charles Leclerc ($24.2m)
All of which means I’ve somehow managed to get the four most popular drivers from the teams thus far created. And with just shy of $25m left, I can grab Charles Leclerc to finish things off.
So there we have it. Verstappen, Perez, Ricciardo, Sainz and Leclerc, with a Pink Mercedes thrown in for good measure. Not a bad little line up at all.
Think you can beat Will Buxton? Sign up to F1 Fantasy here and set your team before qualifying starts for the first Grand Prix of the season! Prizes on offer include 2x Paddock Club passes to a 2021 Grand Prix.